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Obama Budget Begins Digging U.S. Out of the Red on Peacekeeping, Says Better World Campaign

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Washington, D.C. (March 5, 2014) – The President’s FY’ 2015 budget request to Congress, released Tuesday, signals to legislators that the U.S. must live up to its commitments to United Nations peacekeeping, noted the Better World Campaign. In a statement, executive director Peter Yeo said:

“The President’s budget makes real progress on getting the U.S. out of the red at the UN and back in good standing with our allies and international partners. The budget – released Tuesday with topline numbers – allocates over $2.5 billion to UN peacekeeping in FY 15, making a major down payment on our back dues and wisely anticipating potential needs in places like the Central African Republic.

“Let’s be clear about what this proposal does and does not do: This is not a blank check to the UN, nor the product of unchecked growth within UN peacekeeping. To the contrary, the Administration’s request for increased funds reflects the increased needs we have asked the UN to address, primarily in two places the U.S. has pushed for greater UN involvement – Mali and South Sudan. The UN is scaling up its efforts in these critical regions at our request, and doing it at one eighth the cost of the U.S. going it alone.

“This is an increase over last year because we have a lot of ground to make up for: The FY 14 spending bill recently passed by Congress held in place arbitrary caps on how much of our dues the U.S. can pay in a given year. That means we’re presently underfunding every single peacekeeping mission. In addition, the FY 14 bill provided no funding for the UN mission in Mali – shorting it by $250 million dollars.

“The President’s budget, however, requests this cap be lifted for FY’15, allowing the U.S. to pay its peacekeeping dues at the full assessed rate of 28 percent. It also would fully fund the Mali mission for FY 15 and make a solid dent in FY’14’s shortfalls.

“This budget also wisely anticipates funds for a possible peacekeeping mission in CAR – a nation where the threat of genocide looms. In fact, in a matter of days, the U.S. will enter the Security Council chamber and debate possible intervention in CAR – and with the President’s budget request, we can at last negotiate a solution in good faith.

“And when we consider the full picture for international safety and wellbeing, the President’s budget also holds good news in another vital area: global health. In fact, the budget would sustain strong funding for things like measles and voluntary family planning through the United Nations Population Fund. Moreover, this roadmap stands to make a considerable impact for vital efforts like the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Fund, polio eradication initiatives, GAVI, and the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

“The big picture is clear: President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal sets us on the right track for international diplomacy. The Better World Campaign urges congressional appropriators to follow its smart guidance.”

About the Better World Campaign

The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.

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Media Contact:

info_bwc@unfoundation.org